Owen Atkinson

  • Webinar recorded on Tue 22nd September, 2015
  • 1 hours 3 mins
  • 1 Comment

This webinar will be presented by Owen Atkinson, RCVS Specialist in Cattle Health and Production. Owen will present the findings of a recent pan-Wales survey of dairy heifer rearing which include some fascinating indicators to what makes for successful youngstock management, and opportunities for vets to improve value to their clients (as well as offer new services). To elaborate a bit more, this detailed survey on dairy youngstock rearing was conducted by private practitioners on 75 dairy farms throughout Wales during April and May, 2015. It is one of the largest studies of its kind ever to be conducted in the UK. The findings not only give a snap-shot “state of the nation” for heifer replacement rearing, from colostrum management, to feeding practices, to age and weight at service and calving, but also indicate some valuable success factors which can underpin veterinary advice and strengthen our existing evidence base. As heifer rearing/replacement costs are the second largest component of milk producers’ cost of production (after feed), there is understandably a huge amount of interest in this area currently. One thing that was abundantly clear from the project was the huge potential for improvement – whether by reducing disease, reducing calf mortality, or reducing age at first calving. There is no shortage of opportunity for vets to lead the way in better youngstock management, and this Webinar will be invaluable to those wishing to do so.

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